Parsons, KS – Police are searching for the person responsible for decapitating a Parsons police officer’s three-month-old German shepherd and tossing the beloved puppy’s body into the officer’s fenced back yard.
The investigation into heinous incident began on Dec. 3, when an off-duty Parsons Police Department (PPD) officer called to report that his dog had been killed in the 1400-block of South 14th Street, the PPD said in a press release.
Ranger, a three-month-old registered purebred black German shepherd, had been let out into the fenced yard at approximately 7 a.m., the officer told investigators.
At approximately 2 p.m., the off-duty offer found his puppy lying in the yard with its head severed, according to the press release.
Investigators said someone had “sliced” the puppy’s head off at another location and “returned the body to the backyard.”
PPD Chief Robert Spinks said the killing of the dog “appears to be a targeted attack” on the officer’s home and property, and described it as a “hate crime.”
“I cannot even describe my feelings of disdain for the person(s) responsible,” the outraged chief wrote in the press release. “I am an avid dog lover as I have made it clear to the community over the years that I have been here, I have 2 rescue dogs, one that I adopted from our local shelter. The level of cowardice that would lead someone to kill a little puppy named ‘Ranger’ is astonishing.”
Chief Spinks said he’s hopeful the person responsible for slaughtering the innocent puppy will be apprehended.
“I pray that we get a chance for the judicial system to prosecute this coward and bring them to justice,” he said. “We have reached out to the neighborhood to gain video from home surveillance systems in the area in order track this despicable criminal down.”
“This is disgusting enough that it was done to an animal in our community, but when you add in that this appears to be a targeted attack on the home and personal property of a police officer, this makes it nothing more than a hate crime,” the chief added. “I will be talking to the Labette County Attorney’s Office as well to charge it as such if we bring a suspect to light.”
A $4,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for killing the puppy, according to an updated flyer released by Chief Spinks on Dec. 8.
“Our officers are attacked, hit, kicked, bit, scratched, called every name in the book and even spit on, as a part of our job, but this kind of senseless attack on a puppy at the home of an officer can’t be tolerated,” PPD Deputy Chief Dennis Dodd said in the press release. “We just can’t allow this to happen as a community. The suspects clearly knew this was a law enforcement officer’s home.”
The department said it is concerned that someone who is “willing to mutilate an innocent puppy” just because the dog’s owner is a law enforcement officer could also be brazen and violent enough to “attack innocent children or family members to make a statement.”
Chief Spinks has issued a plea to the community, begging someone with information to come forward.
“We are calling on our citizens again to help solve a case. Someone somewhere knows something,” he wrote. “We have hundreds of people in the community that are avid dog lovers. Please put your ears to the ground, let us know if you hear anything. I want this criminal brought to justice for our dog loving community and the family of poor Ranger.”
Over 1,000 people responded to the department’s Facebook post about the incident to express their support for the officer, Chief Spinks said in a follow-up post on Dec. 7.
“The amount of support that the Parsons Police Department has received over the weekend is astonishing and in fact humbling,” he wrote. “This was not just the killing of a dog. It was a brutal mutilation of a beloved pet and attempted threat to one of our officers. ‘Ranger’ the puppy was a pet and a family member. We are thanking the community for their comforting thoughts and prayers.”
If apprehended, the suspect responsible for killing Ranger faces charges of felony cruelty to an animal and criminal trespass, the police department said.